The China-Rwanda Agriculture Technology Demonstration Center (C-RATDC) has supported Rwandan farmers to scale up agricultural production and led to improved lives and incomes.
C-RATDC located in Rubona sector, Huye district in the Southern Province in Rwanda is one of 14 demonstration centers of Chinese agricultural technology that China has established in Africa over the years.
The center occupies an area of 22 hectares of land and comprises facilities for Juncao technology for mushroom growing, paddy rice farming, water conservation and sericulture-related technologies.
"I have been working here at the center for the past four years and I am able to support and feed my family from the salary I get here. I work in the production of mushroom tubes," 32-year-old Delphine Uwanyirigira, one of the local workers at the center told Xinhua in an interview.
The mother of eight children said she works passionately to improve her family's wellbeing through mushroom production.
According to her, there are great benefits from the Juncao technology for mushroom growing and Rwandan farmers have gained a lot from the technology.
Chinese Juncao expert Zhu Su with the Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University (FAFU) headquartered in China has been rooted in Rwanda for 10 years with the mission of edible fungi research and promotion. After years of dedicated work, he said the localization of Juncao technology has matured and is supporting the growth of the Rwandan economy.
"The Juncao project is very popular in Rwanda. For this project, we have trained more than 5,000 farmers, technicians and talents for this project in this country," Zhu told Xinhua.
He said that mushroom production is one of the main agricultural activities of Rwanda's economy, adding that it is recognized by the Rwanda Agriculture and Animal Resources Development Board.
"Mushroom growing through Juncao technology has become suitable for this country. One is food safety, and the second is protein content. Our mushrooms contain protein up to 38 percent," said Zhu.
According to him, more than 8,000 farmers have embarked on growing mushrooms in the country, and the Juncao technology for mushroom growing has been adopted in the country's four provinces and the city of Kigali.
"Pleurotus ostreatus mushroom is a product that we have introduced in Rwanda over the past 10 years, and it sells well and tastes good and the market price is acceptable and affordable to all Rwandans including locals and officials," said Zhu.
"Many farmers have made money and their wallets are bulging. The economic benefits are in the farmers' bags. We want to transform our scientific research results and truly let them take root and blossom," he said.
Zheng Ruijin, who arrived in Rwanda in mid-July this year, is a Chinese rice expert who has been engaged in overseas agricultural technology aid since 2007.
"I have been to many countries, but agriculture in Rwanda is being done at a very high level. In terms of planting rice varieties and selection, we have done a good job. I have been to one of the country's national rice demonstration centers some time ago and I was impressed," Zheng said.
He said that his impression of the local farmers in Rwanda is that they are very hard working. "If local farmers will learn more about our technology, they will definitely increase the output of local crops," said Zheng.